APRIL 5, 2017

Phil Mickelson says numerous PGA Tour players fail to mark their golf balls properly, but unlike the LPGA’s Lexi Thompson, they haven’t been nabbed with a major championship on the line.

“I know a number of guys on Tour that are loose with how they mark the ball and have not been called on it,” Mickelson said Tuesday during his news conference at Augusta National Golf Club, site of this week’s Masters. “I mean, they will move the ball 2, 3 inches in front of their mark, and this is an intentional way to get it out of any type of impression and so forth, and I think that kind of stuff needs to stop. . . . The Tour should go to those players and say, ‘Look, we've noticed you've been a little lax in how precise you've been in marking the ball. We'd like you to be a little bit better at it,’ and see if that doesn't just kind of fix the thing.”


Gary Player likes to say memories are the cushions of life. Every April since 1957, he has returned to the Masters – a record 52 times as a competitor – to a place that he said "helped change my life."

He posted video on Twitter of his traditional walk down Magnolia Lane, an annual rite in which he stops to give thanks.

"This is my 60th year," Player said. "How many people even live that long?"


It’s Masters week, and after getting humiliated in your office NCAA basketball tournament pool – yeah, you were the genius who had Villanova to win it all – you’d like to regain some face. And maybe some loose change.

So, on the eve of the 81st Masters, here’s one way to run your own decent pool:

Step 1: Don’t have a player draft. Remember what a nightmare marathon it is drafting players in your fantasy football league? It takes forever, and you’ve got to juggle schedules for 10 or 12 team managers – and, oh yeah, Howie and Eduardo work evenings, so that’s out. Instead, go with an entry form so each entrant can select his or her Masters lineup.

Thursday’s first round (all times EDT)

8 a.m.    Daniel Summerhays    Russell Henley

8:11 a.m.    Trevor Immelman    Brendan Steele    Jhonattan Vegas

8:22 a.m.    Mike Weir    Billy Hurley III    Scott Piercy

8:33 a.m.    Larry Mize    Brian Stuard    Stewart Hagestad

8:44 a.m.    Soren Kjeldsen    Kevin Chappell    Jim Furyk

Amateurs merit a place in Masters

I played in five Masters as an amateur, and at the amateur dinner on Wednesday night, Charlie Yates (Bobby Jones' best friend) would always tell us that it was Jones’ dream to have an amateur win the Masters. Back then, they invited the Walker Cup teams and World Amateur teams from the United States to compete.

So, while I agree with your assessment of the Western Amateur, NCAA and McCormack, I do not agree taking out the U.S. Mid-Amateur champion (“In nod to Bobby Jones, Masters should add amateur spots,” April 4, Not because I won it in 1981 but because the Mid-Amateur can help keep this amateur game going.

Keeping score


Price, in U.S. dollars and cents, of lunch at Augusta National Golf Club: a pimento-cheese sandwich ($1.50), soft drink ($2) and a bag of chips ($1). Add a Georgia peach ice cream sandwich for another $2. Seconds, anybody?


Percentage of respondents who answered “no” to a Morning Read online poll that asked: Do you agree with the four strokes of penalties assessed to Lexi Thompson on Sunday after an incident Saturday at the ANA Inspiration?


Hilton Head Island, S.C., announced spring golf packages at its area courses and resorts, starting as low as $150 per person, per day.

Srixon congratulated Miguel Angel Jimenez for his recent playoff victory in the Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic in Biloxi, Miss. Jimenez, 53, of Spain, recently switched to Srixon’s new Z-Star golf ball before winning his fourth title on the PGA Tour Champions.

Srixon announced the introduction of its Q-Star Tour golf ball, designed for players with moderate swing speeds, effective April 14. The golf balls will retail for $29.99 per dozen.

Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island, S.C., announced its Escape Vacation Package. The bookings, designed for families in select homes and villas at the coastal resort, start at $136 per night.

April 6-9
PGA Tour: Masters Tournament
Augusta (Ga.) National GC
April 7-9
Symetra Tour: Northern California Classic
Windsor (Calif.) GC
April 12-15
LPGA: Lotte Championship
Ko Olina GC, Kapolei, Hawaii
April 13-16
European Tour: Trophee Hassan II
Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, Rabat, Morocco
PGA Tour: RBC Heritage
Harbour Town Golf Links, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
April 14-16
Champions Tour: Mitsubishi Electric Classic
TPC Sugarloaf, Duluth, Ga.
April 19-22
Junior: Sage Valley Junior Invitational
Sage Valley Golf Club, Graniteville, S.C.
April 20-23
European Tour: Shenzhen International
Genzon GC, Shenzhen, China Tour: United Leasing and Finance Championship
Victoria National GC, Newburgh, Ind.
PGA Tour: Valero Texas Open
TPC San Antonio (Oaks Course)
April 21-23
Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge
Top of the Rock, Ridgedale, Mo.
Symetra Tour: Sara Bay Classic
Sara Bay CC, Sarasota, Fla.
April 25-26
National Golf Day

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